motherhood_12I would love to see Smith offer interterm classes for students or, for alumnae, webinars with career advice or consultations on the following:

  1. Working Motherhood 101: Career Choice and Trajectory. Could success be defined as the ability to control your time and meet your personal goals? What if career success were a wavy curve, where you could ramp your career up and down as you needed?
  2. Working Motherhood 201: Nuts and Bolts. Learn about the Family and Medical Leave Act, and benefits employers may offer. Will your leave be paid or unpaid? Understand your day care options: relatives, nannies, centers; close to your house or work; waitlists? Will you want to pump at work, and if so, where can you do it?
  3. Working Motherhood 301: Self-employment. Think of your career field and research businesses that are small, women-owned firms. If you wanted or needed to go solo at some point, what could you make work? Learn the basics of self-employment, including taxes, accounting and health insurance.

When you are working full time, it’s tough to actually “see” your kids at night without causing them to stay up late. We did hit a point that our kids were just exhausted after being at school, then after-care, then up late, even on days with no activities. We were exhausted, too. That was a driver for us to re-gear and make my job more flexible. The result: flexible afternoons, homework done early, dinner early, bedtime early, some activities maintained but scaled back. Everyone was happier, even with one spouse earning half of what was earned before. So. Worth. It.

—Ann Perry O’Connell ’89, two children, 9 and 11

“On vacation I always tell the office I will be completely out of touch. Then I leave all work and Blackberry at home.”

—Amy Neubauer Cohen ’90

 

SAQ, Winter 2015–16